A FANTASTIC programme of more than 100 individual events is being staged to celebrate October Is Music Month in Bradford city centre and beyond.
From Gilbert O’Sullivan to Gilbert and Sullivan, from rock ‘n’ roll bingo to learning how to compose on ambisonic systems, the hills of the city’s retail and leisure heart will come alive to the sound of music for four amazing weeks.
Whether you like folk, punk, classical, country, heavy metal, funk, jazz, blues, pop, show songs, house, Japanese psych-rock, electric Sufi, tribute bands, flamenco, ska, soul, swing, gospel, Bhangra, hip-hop, house, garage, goth, acid, emo or simply karaoke – to name but a few – audiences will be able to enjoy an incredible range of sounds and styles.
And, what’s more, music will be popping up in all sorts of unusual venues and locations right across the district.
Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) – the limited not-for-profit company funded by more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to help promote and develop the city centre –is sponsoring the first ever October Is Music Month and has been working with Bradford at Night, Bradford Council and Bradford Producing Hub to co-ordinate the extraordinary series of events.
BID manager Jonny Noble said: “We called on venues, artists and promoters to help us pull together this fabulous month-long event and, oh boy, have they delivered!
“We’re just stunned by the huge variety and staggering mix of musical styles and sounds going on across the district.
“There’s something musical going on just about everywhere you turn and in all sorts of unusual and interesting places. There’s something for every taste and it’s going to be hard to miss it!
The official October is Music Month launch event takes place at 1pm on Tuesday, October 4, when the Lydian String Quartet – a Bradford-based professional string quartet performing stylish classical music and sparkling arrangements of film, jazz and pop songs – takes to the stage in City Park.
But there are events or gigs taking place almost every day from the start of the month.
Famous names such as Michael Ball (An Evening with Michael Ball, Alhambra Theatre, June 11), Keith Duffy (Boyzlife, St George’s Hall, October 15) and Gilbert O’Sullivan (St George’s, October 5) will be appearing at the big venues, while, at the other end of the scale, amateurs can try their hands at one of the five karaoke nights with DJ Lee N’ova at the Ginger Goose.
Somewhere in between, among dozens of gigs at different venues, there will be a host of Bradford-made musical talent, such as poet Kirsty Taylor’s witty and poignant debut play, The Musical, set in a recreated Bradford pawn shop (The Oastler Centre, October 1 to 7), Bradford’s first South Asian Women’s Choir – Song Geet – performing at The Broadway Shopping Centre (October 7) and upcoming singer James Spencer and his band launching their new single (The Underground, October 14).
And if you like tribute bands, there are lots to choose from, recreating the sounds of the Beatles, Queen, Freddie Mercury, the Everly Brothers, Stone Roses, Oasis, the Who, Pink Floyd, Motorhead, The Rat Pack and more.
There are also numerous events aimed at helping people to learn more about and enjoy music, including drop-in sessions on becoming a DJ and getting your own music heard at Bradford Community Broadcasting (BCB) on October 14 and 21; an artist’s talk by Sophie Cooper about her multi-channel performances and installations at Fuse Arts space (October 1) and a heritage talk on the many black stars who have appeared at St George’s – from Howlin’ Wolf to Marvin Gaye, from Paul Robeson to Sister Sledge (October 20).
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said “We’ve had a great summer of events and activities across the Bradford district and there’s so much more to come. October Is Music Month looks like it’s going to be a great event with something for all musical tastes.”
Bradford at Night’s evening and night-time co-ordinator Elizabeth Murphy added: “The list just seems endless. We’re blown away by the multifarious assortment of musical happenings and we’re sure it will really open people’s eyes to just how much is going on in Bradford city centre.
“We think the breadth of the offer will also have a real family feel and appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds and really help to bring the city to life as the darker evenings start to draw in.
“We also want it to bring in more visitors to the city centre and lesser known parts of the district and help give our retail, food and hospitality sectors a much-needed boost as we start the run-up to the festive season.”